Some NP Student Resources

Although I’m very much into technology, I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to note taking, reading, and paper writing. When reading research articles and such, I like to make notations in the margins and use a yellow highlighter. However, I believe that current technology is evolving so quickly and is surpassing traditional methods.

Here is just a very brief list of tools that I use for research, paper writing, and group work:

1. iPad – I have been an early adopter of the iPad and have the 1st generation device which generally suits my needs well. I use the iPad to read a lot of articles and it sure saves on printing and using all that paper.

2. GoodReader for the iPad – this is an inexpensive app that is so useful. As great as the iPad is, there is no easy native way to save a file to the device. Enter GoodReader. This app allows you to save all of those PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint (and more) files directly to your iPad. Once you have them saved, you no longer need a Wi-Fi or 3G internet connection to review those documents. In addition, the app allows you to highlight and make notation on those PDF documents – very handy for research articles. Please note that you will not be able to edit any of the documents.

3. Google Docs –  Where would I be without Google Docs? Google Docs is cloud-based storage and allows your documents to be available wherever you have access to the Internet. You can also share files on Google Docs with other Google Docs users and you can even simultaneously work on Word and Excel documents. For my doctoral work, my group utilized Google Docs extensively and enabled us to get our assignments done.

4. DropBox – DropBox is similar to Google Docs but it adds the utility of automatically backing up your files to the cloud. This is very handy when you want to keep a secure copy of an important document. Plus, you can view the documents on your iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc) device.

5. Skype – You can expect a lot of group/team work in graduate school and Skype is a wonderful tool to virtually gather with your group members. Skype allows video calls (one to one) as well as traditional and conference calls over the Internet. All you need to do is download the software and it is free. Skype recently introduced group video calls and the ability to share your desktop with the group but charges a price for that. It is nice to occasionally see each other on video but you may not want to every time – especially if its a premium feature.

6. FreeConference – For those wanting the traditional telephone experience, FreeConference is easy to set-up a conference call and best of all, it’s free!

There you have it! I’m calling this short list, my dirty half-dozen resources for NP students. It may take awhile becoming familiar with them so I suggest trying them out now before you are knee deep in assignments. I hope you find them as useful as I do.


I’m Dr. Stephen Ferrara, a practicing Nurse Practitioner with over 10 years of clinical experience. I’m a senior clinical associate at a large urban hospital system in the Bronx, NY and I’ve owned and operated the largest Nurse Practitioner retail based clinic operation in New York State. I have experience in college, correctional and men’s health.

I have my Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Nursing as well as my Master’s degree, and recently I attained the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree! I’m active within my state’s nurse practitioner association and have lectured at numerous conferences.

In addition to blogging here at, for the past 3 years I’ve authored A Nurse Practitioner’s View. I have a passion for health care technology and integrating evidence-based practice into daily practice.Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find the information on this blog useful for your educational and career endeavors into the field of nursing.