As an astute business leader with exceptional entrepreneurial instincts, Jeffrey Caplan was quick to recognize that the introduction of the internet would forever change the world. He decided he didn’t want to just witness the change, he wanted to be a part of it. Twenty years ago, he gave up a stable career in corporate America to join an online healthcare technology start-up…and never looked back. Today, Caplan is president of Sentinel U®, a premier healthcare education technology (EdTech) organization.
At the helm of Sentinel U, Caplan calls upon his extensive background in healthcare and information technology, strategic business development, and digital learning on a daily basis. He is intimately involved in all aspects, guiding the company as it transforms the future of nursing education and training using virtual simulation and learning innovation technologies.
In his early career, Caplan worked with nurses in the OR who were using DuPont sterile packaging for medical devices. Under his leadership, his team received the coveted DuPont Marketing Excellence Award. After leaving DuPont for a healthcare technology start-up, now known as Global Healthcare Exchange, Caplan quickly worked his way up the corporate ladder until he was eventually lured away to join American Sentinel University. Creating relationships with hospital systems, Caplan helped grow this small online healthcare school into the ninth largest institution in the country for post-licensure nursing enrollment and earned recognition by U.S. News & World Report.
While at American Sentinel University, Caplan eagerly accepted the ambitious assignment to assess the current healthcare learning and training marketplace. He instantly recognized that the decades-old nursing education and professional development models needed a reboot. In-person clinicals, simulation labs and assessments were the accepted standards, but he believed the time had come for nursing educators and professional trainers to adopt – and adapt – to a world that also included digital healthcare learning innovation.
Caplan helped champion a change in the pedagogy of nursing education when he began pivoting the university’s internal-only community health simulation product, a prototype of Sentinel City®, into a marketable teaching tool. That was the catalyst to the formation in 2015 of Healthcare Learning Innovations, now Sentinel U®, which today stands at the forefront of virtual nursing simulation.
Caplan steered the team through four version upgrades of Sentinel City in just 15 months to develop the world’s first commercially available virtual simulation product for use in a community or population health course. His next success was leading the growing team as it developed new product lines for other nursing subjects. With vast experience in business, healthcare and online education, Caplan deftly collaborated with everyone from nurse educators and administrators to software engineers and designers to continue developing Sentinel U’s growing portfolio of virtual simulation products.
Harkening back to his early days working with OR nurses and innovative medical device packaging, this dynamic leader is driven to continue revolutionizing healthcare education and training. As digital media advances and innovative technologies continue to emerge, Caplan forges ahead, learning and adapting, incorporating new techniques and products to best serve the needs of the healthcare community today and tomorrow.
The lifelong learner completed Harvard Business School’s Executive Education: Launching New Ventures/Entrepreneurship program. He earned a Master in Business Administration from the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Rutgers University.