Aug. 10, 2021

You Need These Study Apps

You Need These Study Apps
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 "There's an app for that!" 
There's an app for everything, and today I’m talking about the top 3 apps you need as a nursing student. I’m about halfway through my nursing school program, and I am telling you - these apps have saved me so much time, and I truly believe they’ve been instrumental in helping me make A’s in my classes.

Follow this link to check out Picmonic for free or sign up for a subscription with 20% off! Seriously, this is such an awesome resource for nursing students.

Check out for excellent videos and quizes to supplement your education.

Click here to learn more about the Anki flashcard app.


Hello Everyone! Welcome back to the Nursing School Week by Week Podcast. This is your host, Melanie, and today I’m talking about the top 3 apps you need as a nursing student. Now, I’m about halfway through my nursing school program, and I am telling you - these apps have saved me so much time, and I truly believe they’ve been instrumental in helping me make A’s in my classes.

Alright, so the 1st app that’s a must-have is Picmonic. Picmonic uses pictures to help you remember the information you’ll need for your exams. For example, let's say you’re taking pharmacology, and you need to learn about Penicillin. You’d pull up the Picmonic app, watch a short 1-2 minute video that teaches you what you need to know about Penicillin, while looking at a cartoon-like picture. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and that’s so true. And when it comes to studying, what would you rather memorize, one picture, or a thousand words? After you watch the short educational video, you’d then listen to a story that goes along with the picture, all while you’re staring at the picture. Picmonic is actually sponsoring this episode, so I can play a little clip for you of part of the story that you’d hear if you were learning about penicillin. So, in this Picmonic, Penicillin, drawn as a “pencil villain”, is busting out his fellow villain from prison.

So, in the clip, penicillin broke down the wall of the cell, or prison to free his sidekick, a graham cracker with purple wings, or gram-positive angel. So, just by remembering this picture, we can remember that penicillin works by weakening, or breaking down cell walls, and that it’s used to treat gram-positive infections. Now listen to this clip of the educational video, and you’ll get the connection.

This really works you guys. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in the middle of taking an exam, and these pictures just pop into my head. I may have narrowed down the multiple choice question to just 2 options, and then I remember the Picmonic picture, and I’m able to pick the right test option. In the Picmonic app, after you’ve watched the educational video and listened to the story on your topic, you can take a short quiz to reinforce what you’ve just learned. And this is so important because we know active learning, like taking practice tests and quizzes, is one of the best uses of your study time. Don’t just be re-reading the book, or rewriting your notes. That’s a waste of your precious time. You must engage in active learning, and I’ll go into greater depth with this in my next episode, where I’m gonna go into detail about my study system. 

Picmonic will cost you about $5 a month normally, but I have a referral link in the description that’ll save you 20%. 

Alright, the 2nd app you need as a nursing student is This app will save you from having to read the textbook; and believe me, you will not have time to read the textbook. has over 300 videos made by veteran nurses. Each video is about 10 minutes long, is easy to understand, and helps you see the big picture of whatever topic you’re learning. These 10 minute videos are perfect to watch before your lecture on the topic, so that you go into your class with a basic level of understanding to build on.

Alright, so , to use the app, let’s say you were learning about skin burns. You’d first watch the video called “Burn Injuries”, then there are 15 study tools that you can look at, such as photos of burns in the different stages and degrees, and case studies. You probably won’t have time to look at all 15 study tools, but you can pick and choose. The case studies are really useful to think more deeply about the topic and get practice thinking like a nurse. is a perfect companion to use with Picmonic because they actually link to each other’s videos. So, after you watch a video on burns, you could click on the link to the Picmonic on “Burns considerations” or “Burns interventions.” They complement each other well. But, my favorite part of is the quizzes. After each video, you can take a quiz on the topic. They’re usually about 5-10 questions, and they even include some select all that apply questions, which are great to practice on, because those are the ones most people struggle with. And, they give explanations for the correct answers and why the wrong answers were wrong. 

A subscription is more expensive than Picmonic, and will run you $39 a month, but you can do a 3 day trial to see if you like it first.

The 3rd app you need as a nursing student, and I would argue as any student, is the Anki flashcard app. I tried using paper index cards as flashcards, and it was fun making them; I got to use pretty highlighters and pens, but when it came to actually using them, I didn’t. It was just too many to handle. I make a lot of flashcards. Anywhere from 200-500 per exam, so being able to have them all on my phone everywhere I go, is priceless. This way, I can study while I’m taking my dog for a walk, which I would not be able to do if I was trying to shuffle through 400 index cards. But there are lots of mobile flashcard apps. What makes Anki the best? 2 words: Spaced Repetition. If you haven’t heard of the benefit of spaced repetition, it’s an evidence-based learning technique where the flashcards you’re still learning, or are having a difficult time remembering, are shown more frequently, while the easier ones are shown less frequently. And just about when you would forget one, the Anki app shows it to you again. This helps you maximize your study time because you’re not wasting time on the cards you already know! Anki is also perfect to use with Picmonic because you can add a picture of the picmonic as part of your answer on a flashcard. This ensures you’re looking at the Picmonic on a regular basis. 

If you’ve got an Android phone, the app is free, but unfortunately, it’ll cost you $25 for the iphone version. I know that’s a lot of money for an app, but it’s a one-time cost, and it’s totally worth it.

Alright you guys, those are the tops 3 study apps you need as a nursing student. I hope this was helpful to you, and I’d really love to hear if you try any of these apps and what you think. Leave a comment for me below if you’ve tried Picmonic,, or Anki.

In the next episode, I’ll be breaking down my own study routine in great detail, so join me for that, and have a great week!