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Nursing Constellation...Yay or Nay?!?

Specializes in ICU, Med-Surg, Post-op, Same-Day Surgery. Has 8 years experience.

Hi all,

I am going to be purchasing a Palm T|X very soon, and have been researching all the various nursing and medical programs, as well as where and how to buy them. It seems as if the Nursing Constellation offered by Skyscape gives the best basic set of programs for the cheapest price. Plus, Skyscape gives you the option to buy from a list of other programs at a 20% discount. I have read through many of the threads and posts on allnurses.com, but there doesn't seem to be much info on the Skyscape Nursing Constellation specifically. I'll lay out the facts for all to see, because I think it's a good deal, but if anyone has comments please feel free to add. Obviously, if you already have (or have tried) the Skyscape Nursing Constellation, I'd love to hear your feedback, good and bad! Also, if you've tried another bundled package or found a cheaper place to buy programs, I'd love to know.

skyscape nursing constellation--$86.95, includes:

Sx, Dx, Tx & Lab: RNotes®: Nurse's Clinical Pocket Guide

Nurse's Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests

Rx: Davis's Drug Guide for Nurses with built in drug dosing calculation tools

Tools: Archimedes Medical Calculator

MedAlert - News & Journal summaries

ICD-9-CM Coding Tool

Additional offer: Purchase the new Skyscape Nursing Constellation today and receive a 20% discount on any of these selected add-on references:

Diseases and Disorders: A Nursing Therapeutics Manual

Nurse's Fast Facts: The Only Book You Need for Clinicals

Nursing I.V. Drug Handbook

Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice: Procedures

Drug Interaction Facts

Handbook of Signs and Symptoms

Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary

Nursing2004 Herbal Medicine Handbook

-->Would any of these programs be helpful?!?

Now, if you were to go to Handango.com and purchase these programs, this is what you'd end up paying:

RNotes: Nurse's Clinical Pocket Guide, 2nd Edition--$28.95

Nurse's Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 4th ed.--$45.95

Davis's Drug Guide for Nurse's with Integrated Calculaters--$49.95

Archimedes Medical Calculator--FREE!

MedAlert--Not Available on Handango.com

ICD-9-CM Coding Tool--$29.95

Total at Handango.com: $154.80

So, obviously for this group of programs the Nursing Constellation is a good deal. You are basically buying the Davis's Drug Guide and the Nurse's Manual and getting the rest for free!!! Of course, I'm sure many people have preferences to other program's, but if it seems like a good deal for a new nursing student, then I'm game! If this seems like a good group of programs for the price, then I'd appreciate the feedback.

Let me know what you think! Thanks all!

vickynurse

Specializes in critical care, management, med surg, edu.

Personally, I never pay for any PDA references. Epocrates.com offers free software that is very helpful. Check it out!

Cinqly, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Med-Surg, Post-op, Same-Day Surgery. Has 8 years experience.

Thanks for the input. So are you guys saying that you prefer different software, or that it's just not the best deal?

Vicky, does the Epocrates cover everything that the Skyscape nursing constellation covers? I am going to check it out, but I'm hoping for an easy answer from you!

Tim, do you think that the Unbound medical software would be better? It seems like it offers the same and similar programs, but at a much higher cost. Have you used it and just found it to be a better suite than the Skyscape bundle? I suppose that the Taber's is 50 bucks, so it seems like they throw in the journal for free... Hmm...decisions, decisions.

Cinqly, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Med-Surg, Post-op, Same-Day Surgery. Has 8 years experience.

Personally, I never pay for any PDA references. Epocrates.com offers free software that is very helpful. Check it out!

The only thing I saw for free on Epocrates.com is the drug reference... I see some other programs, buy they seem much more costly than the others I am looking at. Maybe you can fill me in if I am missing something.

Edit: I think I found them! :)

Unbound medicine's nursing central which usually sells for 149.95 but with the discount for registering your pda, it's 20% off. Which makes it 120.00 which is a great price. I haven't used it yet but like yourself, I have been shopping around and this seems to be the best deal.

Tim

Cinqly, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Med-Surg, Post-op, Same-Day Surgery. Has 8 years experience.

Unbound medicine's nursing central which usually sells for 149.95 but with the discount for registering your pda, it's 20% off. Which makes it 120.00 which is a great price. I haven't used it yet but like yourself, I have been shopping around and this seems to be the best deal.

Tim

Thanks for the advice. When you get a chance to try out the program, let me know what you think! What kind of PDA do you have? I guess when I get my PDA, if I get the same programs (or different) I'll let you know what I think of the programs. Thanks!

I've got a Palm Tungsten E2 which is middle of the road and I like it. I have just finished my pre-reqs and hope to be in a nursing program the fall of this year. Until then, I'm waiting on investing any money on a nursing software program.

Tim

I bought Nursing Constellation & really like it. In addition I bought

Diseases and Disorders: A Nursing Therapeutics Manual

Nurse's Fast Facts: The Only Book You Need for Clinicals

Handbook of Signs and Symptoms

Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary

I'm an LPN student but feel these are really beneficial, especially, Tabers & Davis Drug Guide.

What I especially like about buying from Skyscape, and perhaps this is true from other companies, is that you can choose, at no additional cost, to also include the version of the program for your PC. As a student, my laptop is practically glued to my hip, and I have all that information just a click away when I am studying or doing research.

By the way, in addition, I have purchased Nursing Diagnosis Handbook & Nursing Procedures (not Lippincotts). There is some overlap so I may have overdone it but so far, I'm satisfied.

Dixie

Cinqly, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Med-Surg, Post-op, Same-Day Surgery. Has 8 years experience.

I bought Nursing Constellation & really like it. In addition I bought

Diseases and Disorders: A Nursing Therapeutics Manual

Nurse's Fast Facts: The Only Book You Need for Clinicals

Handbook of Signs and Symptoms

Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary

I'm an LPN student but feel these are really beneficial, especially, Tabers & Davis Drug Guide.

What I especially like about buying from Skyscape, and perhaps this is true from other companies, is that you can choose, at no additional cost, to also include the version of the program for your PC. As a student, my laptop is practically glued to my hip, and I have all that information just a click away when I am studying or doing research.

By the way, in addition, I have purchased Nursing Diagnosis Handbook & Nursing Procedures (not Lippincotts). There is some overlap so I may have overdone it but so far, I'm satisfied.

Dixie

I'm glad to hear that you are satisfied with the Constellation. Unfortunately, I was in the bookstore buying books and went over to the "wall of nursing" to look at books, and realized that the program I applied to uses Mosby's for everything: drug guide, diagnosis handbook, etc. I don't know if I can use another version or not-I have to figure out who to ask. I hope not, because all of the Mosby stuff is $50 a program, and they don't seem to be included in any bundle or constellation anywhere. Dang! I like the idea of having the integrated calculators (included with the Davis drug guide)-they seem like they would be very helpful. Anyway, thank you everyone for the advice!

catlvr

Specializes in Geriatrics, Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 7 years experience.

I have Nursing Constellation as well, and love it. There are only a few people in my clinical group (LPN students) who have a PDA (and the others who have one just have a drug guide), so they turn to me for fast answers. I like this, 'cause it means they are quick to help me move someone when I ask!

e

Cinqly, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Med-Surg, Post-op, Same-Day Surgery. Has 8 years experience.

I have Nursing Constellation as well, and love it. There are only a few people in my clinical group (LPN students) who have a PDA (and the others who have one just have a drug guide), so they turn to me for fast answers. I like this, 'cause it means they are quick to help me move someone when I ask!

e

Glad to hear you like it. So, in your classes/clinicals, do you really use the PDA drug guide a lot? Do you think it is faster than flipping around in the book? And, do you think the features of having a PDA are just more handy? (such as calculators, easy reference to other programs, etc.).

I just bought Nursing Constellation and I'll say that it's great. Very helpful so far and it's so easy to find info. I also bought Taber's and it's great too.

So if you have the money, buy them both.

catlvr

Specializes in Geriatrics, Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 7 years experience.

Yes, I use it all the time...I'm almost 40, so as an "elderly student" I need to have information written down! The Nursing Constellation has links between programs, and that is tremendously helpful. I like the search capabilities and having everything right in my pocket, rather than lugging a bunch of books. I checked out a lot of different free programs, but finally decided to spring for the Constellation for the security that it would all work together seamlessly; I haven't regretted the decision. Sometime you get what you pay for! Oh, I also bought Nursing Fast Facts, another great program.

Glad to hear you like it. So, in your classes/clinicals, do you really use the PDA drug guide a lot? Do you think it is faster than flipping around in the book? And, do you think the features of having a PDA are just more handy? (such as calculators, easy reference to other programs, etc.).

Cinqly, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Med-Surg, Post-op, Same-Day Surgery. Has 8 years experience.

I just bought Nursing Constellation and I'll say that it's great. Very helpful so far and it's so easy to find info. I also bought Taber's and it's great too.

So if you have the money, buy them both.

Awesome. Thanks for the advice everyone!

fishchick72

Specializes in telemetry. Has 7 years experience.

It's a good price, but a bunch of the stuff it comes with you'll never use, like the ICD-9 & I think the RN notes are a waste of time. I think "nursing central" from unbound is a better deal, you pay a little more, but it comes with more stuff & it's all stuff you will use.

I've been trying out Skyscape, Unbound and Epocrates. I've also been looking through the rest of the forums to see which software seems be used the most. I know that the needs of a starting student like myself would be different from one who is just starting to work as a nurse, to one who has been working for awhile in the same place to one who travels and would not know what assignment they would have from day to day and of course the lucky ones that have about 100 years of experience and can remember everything they ever read. The two programs that seems to be mentioned the most is Tabers Medical Encylopedia and Davis Drug Guide. So I at least wanted both of those.

Epocrates suite (the one you have to pay for) is very complete but seems to be more suited to MDs and APNs.

Skyscape, at this time, offers the PDA and desktop version for one price. It's only about $90 but you have to buy the Tabers separately.

Unbound is about $150 but it comes with the Tabers. It does not come with a desktop version but it does come with a one year web subscription so that you can access the web version online.

I'm leaning towards the Unbound because I don't have a laptop to lug around anymore and even if I did, I'm not sure I would like to carry it all over the place along with all the books. With the Unbound I can access the web version from any computer like at the school library, and cut and paste information to a word document or care plan form that I can store on my USB key or email to myself. I also like the interface of the Unbound as opposed to Skyscape. Unbound like Epocrates has one interface for all the programs. Skyscape created a different icon for each of the publications I downloaded to try out. As for the worth of the other programs, I'm still not quite sure yet.

Still the price for all of them is pretty steep so I'm still thinking about it until I can afford to buy any of them...if ever.

Cinqly, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Med-Surg, Post-op, Same-Day Surgery. Has 8 years experience.

I've been trying out Skyscape, Unbound and Epocrates. I've also been looking through the rest of the forums to see which software seems be used the most. I know that the needs of a starting student like myself would be different from one who is just starting to work as a nurse, to one who has been working for awhile in the same place to one who travels and would not know what assignment they would have from day to day and of course the lucky ones that have about 100 years of experience and can remember everything they ever read. The two programs that seems to be mentioned the most is Tabers Medical Encylopedia and Davis Drug Guide. So I at least wanted both of those.

Epocrates suite (the one you have to pay for) is very complete but seems to be more suited to MDs and APNs.

Skyscape, at this time, offers the PDA and desktop version for one price. It's only about $90 but you have to buy the Tabers separately.

Unbound is about $150 but it comes with the Tabers. It does not come with a desktop version but it does come with a one year web subscription so that you can access the web version online.

I'm leaning towards the Unbound because I don't have a laptop to lug around anymore and even if I did, I'm not sure I would like to carry it all over the place along with all the books. With the Unbound I can access the web version from any computer like at the school library, and cut and paste information to a word document or care plan form that I can store on my USB key or email to myself. I also like the interface of the Unbound as opposed to Skyscape. Unbound like Epocrates has one interface for all the programs. Skyscape created a different icon for each of the publications I downloaded to try out. As for the worth of the other programs, I'm still not quite sure yet.

Still the price for all of them is pretty steep so I'm still thinking about it until I can afford to buy any of them...if ever.

If you have a PDA, why would you need to lug a laptop around?? I thought the whole point was to have a small, light device that does the work of a big computer and piles of books! :wink2: That aside, thanks for the input. What device do you have, if you don't mind my asking??

Elizabeth Hanes, BSN, RN

Specializes in Freelance Writer, 'the nurse who knows content'. Has 12 years experience.

If you have a PDA, why would you need to lug a laptop around?? I thought the whole point was to have a small, light device that does the work of a big computer and piles of books! :wink2:

I'm not the person who posted the original comment, but...

I should be receiving my Palm TX in the mail any day, yet I still plan to lug my laptop with me. Why? I can think of at least 2 good reasons, actually:

1. Writing papers. Yeah, I know you can get a keyboard for the Palm, but I've gone that route years ago (with an old Handspring), and I found it highly unsatisfactory. For one thing, I find it hard to read the screen of a PDA when I'm typing. For another thing, the formatting didn't always translate perfectly when I synched to my PC. I find it much more convenient to type my papers on an "old fashioned" laptop.

2. Research. Again, I know my Palm will have wireless capabilities, but (also again) the screen is really small. It's much more efficient for me to set up my laptop in the library and access all the resources I need for performing research.

Yes, my Palm will replace a couple (stress "couple") of the books I use in nursing school, and it will come in especially handy on the floor during clinicals. But that doesn't mean it will replace my laptop or all my textbooks. Oh, I wish! :lol2:

PS -- Which software package did you decide to go with? I've decided to get Nursing Central from Unbound. I think it offers more of what I need than Constellation, though I think it's really a matter of personal preference.

Cinqly, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Med-Surg, Post-op, Same-Day Surgery. Has 8 years experience.

Semisweetchick,

Thanks for your comments. Just to clarify, I'm not against lugging around a laptop. But, unless you're writing papers (i.e. going to class, clinicals, or at work), then it doesn't make much sense to take a laptop around with you. It can't be beat for portability, but I was just wondering why the poster would be interested in carrying all three around for reference. I also take my laptop around for papers and research, as the PDA isn't much good for heavy-input. I only wish it was!!! Wouldn't that be nice! :rolleyes: But for easy reference, the PDA beats carrying around a laptop and 20 pounds of books! :wink2:

As for which program I will choose, I think I am going to contact my school and double check what they will be using. If I were to buy a program today, though, I would get the skyscape nursing constellation.

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