10 Best Free iPad Apps for Nurses

ipad apps for nurses

There are many iPad apps for nurses that will make nursing life easier than before. With the help of a handheld device, you can access tons of information within seconds. To help you pick iPad apps helpful for nursing, we’ve put together the 10 best nursing apps based on recent recommendations and reviews:

1. Medscape


Medscape aims to combine all other medical apps into one power-packed app. Their iPad app contains a Drug Reference section, Interaction Checker, Pill ID tool, Disease and Condition reference, Step-By-Step Procedural Articles, Medical Calculator, Medical News and CMEs. Medscape updates their app with new content regularly.

With its awesome features, it is great to know that Medscape is free to download. All you need to access Medscape is to register an account and log-in to the app. Unlike other medical apps, Medscape’s content can be accessed even offline and its user interface is optimized for the iPad’s large screen.

2. Calculate by QxMD


QxMD’s Medical Calculator app contains more than 150 varieties of different medical specialty calculators along with decision support tools. The app’s search function lets you look for calculators by specialty. The app can assist you in a variety of medical calculations like dosages, laboratory values, and prognosis percentage to name a few.

In iPad, the app presents a double-panel interface for easy navigation. However, it cannot be flipped into vertical viewing mode as the app is permanently set in horizontal viewing interface.

Also read: Top 10 Online Drug Guides for Nurses

3. Cancer.net


As the name implies, you can use Cancer.net in reviewing about the different types of cancers as well as their corresponding treatments. You can also use this app as a tool for patient education and recommend this to cancer patients. Cancer patients with difficulties in understanding their illnesses can best learn from this app since you provide them proper health education as part of their clinical management.

The app has a well-organized user interface. There are 120 types of cancers included in its database. Each type of cancer details the signs and symptoms to observe, diagnosis, staging, treatment, risk factors and prevention. It also has a questions panel where you can enter your questions and get answers from experts.

4. Radiology 2.0

radiology 2.0

It can be difficult to understand CT scan and X-ray images.  But, with the help of Radiology 2.0, you can experience classroom-like discussions about the commonly encountered X-Ray and CT scan images in the emergency room. This is very useful in understanding different medical cases especially if you just entered clinical rotations as a nursing student.

This app is packed with 7,000 high quality images complete with case presentations and explanations. The user interface is highly intuitive as you can navigate through stacks of CT images.

5. 3M™ Littmann® SoundBuilder


The SoundBuilder app made by 3M™ Littmann® helps users improve their auscultation skills. It provides lessons in proper placement of a stethoscope’s diaphragm or bell. The lessons provided are rich with images where you can easily understand the procedures being taught.

The highlight of the app is its dynamic 3D presentation and audio animation. You can hear different playbacks of heart sounds so you can practice proper assessment skills through auscultation. The 3D cardiac animation is also a good feature for understanding the nature of the heart sounds heard.

6. Upper Respiratory Virtual Lab 

upper respiratory virtual lab

This is a 3D animation app where you can visualize the parts of the upper respiratory tract. The app is helpful in practicing assessment tricks and understanding anatomy in a different way. It bridges the gap between learning through books and real-life experiences.

Equipped with 34 different anatomical structures that can be seen via cross-sectional views, this app can be a great support in understanding clinical lessons. The app is optimized for iPad and the user interface is fully intuitive.

Also read: 100 Best Android Apps for Nurses

7. Epocrates Bugs + Drugs 


This app provides up-to-date information about different antimicrobial susceptibility trends. The geolocated bacterial resistance information provided aims to guide healthcare practitioners in starting antimicrobial treatment for patients.

For nurses, this app is helpful in understanding antibiotic drug options for their patients. The bacteria commonly found in blood, urine and skin are listed based on geolocated communities in the US. You can correlate the app’s provided data with your hospital’s antibiogram program.

8. AvidNurse


AvidNurse is a feature-packed iPad app for nurses. Through this app you can have access to medical calculators, pain scale charts, BMI conversions and many other reference guides.

The app is from Texas Nurses Foundation and is free to download without any in-app purchases required. The sections of the app are well-organized and optimized for the iPad’s interface.

9. NCLEX RN Mastery 

nclex rn mastery

Nursing students preparing for NCLEX will find this app helpful in improving their study habits. The app is free to download but requires in-app purchases to gain access to more practice tests.

The app features practice quizzes, test taking tricks, study strategies and NCLEX mnemonics. The user interface’s colors are made visually appealing for studying. With the full version of the app, you can have access to over 1600 NCLEX sample questions complete with rationales and guided with pictures.

10. Nursing Central

nursing central

Nursing Central best fits the needs of nursing students in surviving everyday clinical duties. It features different reference guides like nursing drug guide, medical dictionary, laboratory and diagnostic test guides, medical journals and many more. The app is also equipped with picture guides for physical assessments.

The app is free to download and compatible with tablets like iPad. To access more information, in-app purchases are required

Also read: 15 Totally Free Nursing Apps Every Nurse Must Have

Additional Tips in Looking for Helpful Nursing Apps for iPad

1. Always check compatibility. When downloading iPad apps, you can always see compatibility information beside the app’s specifications. Some apps are made for iPhones only so when installed in an iPad, these apps appear either small or pixelated.

2. Weigh customer ratings. Well-known iPad apps have lots of customer ratings and by reading them, you can find out if the app is worth downloading or not. You can also discover the app’s potential bugs by reading its reviews.

3. Check in-app purchases required. Many nursing apps for iPads are free to download. However, some apps just offer a glimpse of their features and the rest is accessible through in-app purchases. Check this detail when browsing for apps so you can evaluate the ones worth downloading.

With these free iPad apps for nurses, you can now have more resources at your disposal. Take advantage of the free and comprehensive information made available by iPad apps made for nurses so that you’ll always be on top of your profession.

About the Author: Je Abarra is a nurse by profession and a freelance writer by passion. She is working as a staff nurse in the pediatric ward of a private city hospital for more than two years. During her free time, she usually writes about her fascinations in health and nursing. She loves to provide tips and fun facts about nursing and healthy living.