About Us

Observation and Decision Making — The Heart of Nursing Education

Who We Are: Discover Our Nursing Education and Clinical Experience

As virtual clinicals and simulations are currently being rapidly adopted throughout healthcare education programs, Sentinel U, a division of American Sentinel University, has been building digital learning resources and virtual simulations since 2015. In fact, our virtual clinicals are used by 211 schools and healthcare organizations across the United States and Canada. We have delivered over 90,000 learner experiences and counting.

Our goal is to advance nursing academic education and healthcare professional training by providing virtual clinicals and simulations that are engaging, effective and economical.

If you are challenged with finding clinical hours for your students or need engaging online learning activities to enhance your academic curriculum or training program, try our affordable and effective virtual clinicals.

Learn Anytime, Anywhere – Join our 210+ clients resulting in more than 38,000 learner experiences annually.

Hover over the map to see how many clients are located in each state.

Leadership and Expertise

Jeffrey Caplan is the president of Sentinel U™. He has an extensive background in healthcare and healthcare IT, strategic business development, online and virtual simulation learning. Previously, Mr. Caplan was Senior Vice President of Enrollment and Retention at American Sentinel University. Prior to American Sentinel, Mr. Caplan was the Executive Vice President for a specialty healthcare media company and the Vice President of marketing and product management for a healthcare electronic exchange between hospitals and suppliers. Mr. Caplan spent his early career at DuPont, where he led a variety of businesses and functions.

Mr. Caplan holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University, an MBA in Business Administration and Management from Vanderbilt University-Owen Graduate School of Management, and completed the Launching New Ventures program at Harvard Business School.

Hello, my name is Elaine Foster, and I am in charge of Learning Resource Development at Sentinel U™. I am responsible for creating our core curriculum and helping develop the simulations and technology that help foster our teaching and learning goals. As someone who was fascinated by simulation before it really even existed (over 30 years ago), I love that we are putting out cutting edge technology that will impact future nurses in becoming better practitioners.

I have spent over 35 years of employment in post-secondary institutions, with 20 of those years in the area of administration. During that span, I have been lucky enough to serve in both teaching and administrative roles at Bethel College, Southwestern Michigan College, Kaplan University, and joined American Sentinel University in 2013. I am proud to supplement this career with lectures, serving on several national education focused committees, and civic and professional boards.

I received my BS in Nursing from the University of Michigan, my MS in Nursing and PhD in Educational Leadership/Administration from Andrews University, and a Certificate from the Institute for Management Leadership in Education from Harvard University.

While I am very proud of my educational accomplishments like my doctoral degree, my family is my true pride. My children and grandchildren bring me tremendous happiness, whether we are all relaxing on the porch, or working together to manage our farm.

Hi, my name is Devon Putnam, and I oversee many of our marketing communication efforts at Sentinel U. There are so many healthcare professionals and educators who could really benefit from our resources, and my goal is to try to reach as many people as possible so we can help get the right tools in their hands.

I have spent over 15 years in the world of academia, starting with my time as a high school English teacher, then working in academic advising before eventually becoming Vice President of Student Engagement at American Sentinel University. This experience helps me understand the importance of quality tools for both students and educators.

At Trinity University, I earned my BA in English and my MA in Teaching.

Through my studies and my teaching experience, I have developed a deep passion for education and its importance in changing the world. While I love working in education, I must say that I take no greater pride and joy than in raising my two children. It is the hardest job ever, but easily the most rewarding.

Hello, my name is Christine Hansen and I am responsible for financial and operational management at Sentinel U™. I have been with the organization since 2016 and enjoy pushing the boundaries of nursing education with innovative learning products with the end goal of helping faculty and students achieve success.

For over 25 years, I have enjoyed providing quality customer service, with the last 15 years focused in Higher Education. At American InterContinental University London, I made sure American students were prepared for the culture shock of living in London. From there, I took what I do best and moved to American Sentinel University, managing finance and operations for the school, which has led me, finally, to Sentinel U™.

I earned an MS in Accounting from Regis University and Bachelor’s in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

I am particularly proud of that Masters, as I was in the program full-time, while also working full-time, and was still able to graduate with honors.

My name is Mike Rickart, and I oversee the sales and partner development teams at Sentinel U and American Sentinel University. Throughout my career, I’ve developed experience in budgeting, sales leadership, strategy, marketing and project management, and these skills support me in this role. My goal is to elevate Sentinel U™ to an indispensable position among our partners. I want our partners to clearly recognize the value and benefits our relationship provides, not only by the quality and affordability of our products, or by the support and care with which we treat their staff, but also the vested interest we’re taking in their success.

Prior to entering the education industry, I spent time in account management and corporate sales for companies including Office Depot and OfficeMax. I then moved into educational sales at Herff Jones with a focus on their Nystrom educational materials. I then spent time at Compass Learning and Chamberlain College of Nursing before joining American Sentinel University in 2016. Now at Sentinel U™, I am driven by a shared interest in my clients’ success.

I earned my BA from Benedictine College.

Our work at Sentinel U™ brings me incredible pride. We are enhancing education for our students and partners, which is very important to me. But even more vital, those students are then applying the quality healthcare skills they’ve learned in actual healthcare settings. Our degrees and products are designed to improve healthcare outcomes for hospitals, nurses, and healthcare workers in rural and urban populations, both nationally and internationally, which is something of which I am very proud.

Hello, my name is Dr. Christi Doherty, and I serve as the Director of Academic Simulations for Sentinel U™. In this role, I provide oversight and content design for virtual simulations, applying educational principles and professional values towards the development of digital resources. I collaborate with the technology team, providing instructional design and subject matter expertise derived from my thirty years of clinical nursing practice and educational leadership. I truly enjoy this role because it provides me the opportunity to create interactive, immersive experiences that mimic real-life situations in the practice setting. In so doing, we are helping these learners enhance their clinical judgment which directly leads to optimum patient outcomes and positive impact in the community.

My work with Sentinel U™ is particularly special to me, as I began my career as a labor and delivery nurse and progressed to trauma/emergency nursing before entering the world of academia as a professor of nursing at Trinity Valley Community College. From there, I joined American Sentinel University in 2018 as an Associate Professor before joining Sentinel U™.

I have earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing from Grayson County College, a BS and then Master of Science Degree in Nursing from Regis University, and finally a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree in Educational Leadership from American Sentinel University. I hold several specialty certifications, including Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE), Certified Nurse Educator (CNE), and Inpatient Obstetrics Certification (RNC-OB).

I am truly proud of my work as a nurse and my continued dedication to sharing my knowledge with other nurses. I do so through publishing a journal article and nursing textbooks as well as webinars, podium, and poster presentations, and in my roles as mentor as the President of the Chi Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and as U.S. Consultant for the Vietnam Nurse Practice Improvement project.

Hi, my name is Melissa and I am the Director of Empowered Classroom. In this role, I collaborate with academic teams, Deans and program chairs to develop, implement, and evaluate plans for our simulation/virtual products. Together, we ensure our products are consistent and up to date with current academic curricula and institutions’ strategic plans. What thrills me about this role is that I get to help make learning exciting and engaging by developing fun, evidence based digital learning resources.

Prior to joining the Sentinel U™ team, I spent seven years with American Sentinel University, both as an administrator and professor. In the eight years before American Sentinel University, I held a variety of roles at Kaplan University where I was Director of Nursing and then National Manager of Simulation & Clinical Sites. My professional career actually started as a nurse in Ophthalmology and then in the operating room.

I earned my BS in Nursing at Mercy College, then my Master of Art in Teaching and Learning and Master of Science in Nursing Education at Kaplan University. Most recently, I received my Doctor of Nursing Practice in Educational Leadership from American Sentinel University.

I am proud of the work all nurses do. I have the privilege to serve as a volunteer on the Unity Point Nurse Honor Guard to celebrate and support the important work of all nurses. I am also proud that I have been able to balance this important work as a nurse with the even more important role of mother of three.

My name is Trevor Rasmusson, and I guide product development initiatives and bring to market innovative instructional solutions that convert traditional learning approaches into quality digital experiences. Central to my duties is ensuring that our Product Development Team applies pedagogically sound approaches to tackling common education obstacles through a gamified digital approach. It’s a unique role that allows me to be creative while perfectly pairing my professional experience in Project Management and Healthcare with my love for Gaming and Education.

Over the last eleven years, I have fulfilled several leadership roles in higher education institutions including: teaching, student success, project management and instructional design. Born from an appreciation for the storytelling, artwork, and mechanics of video games, I bring my skills and passion for 3D design, artificial intelligence and gamification to work creating Sentinel U(TM) ’s virtual worlds. I enjoy sharing this passion, as I frequently write and speak on the topics of online education and simulations in healthcare.

I hold a B.S. in Management and an M.S. in Project Management from Colorado Technical University, with an Online Teaching Certificate from the Online Learning Consortium.

I take pride in the creativity I bring to Sentinel U™and am also proud of the creativity I bring to my home. In my free time, I am a dedicated DIY’er, constantly working on my house and yard, using the power of design to impact how people feel in my home spaces.

Hi, I am Brian Gravel, and I am the Director of Channel Partnerships at Sentinel U™. I am a 25-year veteran of the educational media and higher education industries, bringing new nursing education technology to market in past executive sales positions at Elsevier, Pearson Education and Cengage Learning. I love my role here at Sentinel U™ because I know I am playing a part in helping to educate the nurses of the future.

During my years of experience, I have tried to approach business development as a consultative partner. I believe success includes addressing current industry issues and equipping nurse educators with tools that empower them to teach more effectively. Previously, I worked for Boston University and Williams College.

I earned my MEd, Higher Education Administration from Boston University and a BA from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

While I like to brag about having a pitcher of beer with George Wendt (Norm from Cheers), my greatest pride and joy comes from raising two beautiful, well-educated and motivated daughters.

Hello, my name is Amy Harrington, and I am the Vice President of Professional Development for Sentinel U™. With a career spanning sales leadership, marketing, product and service development and territory management, I have become an expert at formulating tactical initiatives and strategies with focus on driving user growth and revenue. It is my pleasure to be at Sentinel U™ where we are able to help people better themselves through learning and education.

Prior to joining Sentinel U™, I spent 10 years at Adtalem Global- Chamberlain University where I was manager, then Senior Healthcare Development Specialist, and, more recently, served as Regional Business Development Manager. I also have experience in hospice and the home health industry, as well as working in hospital as a behavioral therapist. For the last six years I have focused on staff recruitment/training/evaluation, building marketing campaigns, and expanding our customer base.

I earned my Bachelor’s Degree from Missouri State University.

Growing up in Missouri, I am a devoted supporter of my beloved St. Louis sports teams, but I am most proud of my role as Mom.

Hello, my name is Natalie Nixon, and I am the VP of Sales at Sentinel U™. I rely on my extensive experience in healthcare education to identify the ideal mix of nursing simulations and virtual clinical scenarios that nursing programs need. My passion is helping faculty resolve a challenge or a struggle through our technology offerings. I am driven by the stories from faculty about students saying that, because of the simulation they used in their course, they finally understand and appreciate a certain topic. It doesn’t get better than helping your faculty help their students.

Prior to this role, I was the VP of Admissions for American Sentinel University for nearly 30 years. That experience gave me an intimate understanding of our products, but also of the needs and challenges facing nursing students. This unique knowledge helps me match the best solutions to our customers.

I hold a BBA in Finance from Roanoke College.

When I have free time, I am passionate about animals, especially horses and cats. And while I am proud to be on the board of an animal rescue, I take the most pride in having worked at the same academic institution for 30 years.

Hello, everyone! My name is Savannah Miller and I am a Marketing Manager at Sentinel U. It is my job to develop, execute, and measure the Sentinel U marketing strategies, tactics and communications through our various channels. My biggest joy in this role comes when seeing the impact our products have made in the nursing education and healthcare industry. Knowing my communications could potentially make a difference motivates me each day.

I have spent most of my career in marketing at Sentinel U. Prior to joining this wonderful team, I was a Sales and Marketing Associate with Blue River Partners, and was a Program Support Intern at Rolling Airframe Missile Program and a USA Team Handball Intern while an undergraduate.

I received my BA in Public Relations from Auburn University.

Growing up in a Military family brought me great pride, as well as the joy of world travel, experiencing different cultures and customs. I am also very proud of the work I do with the LGBTQ+ community, running fundraisers for different human rights causes around Denver.

We’ve Been Busy: Our History

  • 2013

    • MARCH: Development begins to create a traditional Nursing Windshield Survey in a 3D virtual environment.
    • DECEMBER: The Community Health Simulation gets a name: “Sentinel City®.”
  • 2014

    • MARCH: Pilot version of Sentinel City® is launched within the Undergraduate Community Health Nursing course at American Sentinel University.
  • 2015

    • AUGUST: Healthcare Learning Innovations is established as a division of American Sentinel University.
  • 2016

    • JANUARY: Launched three Sentinel City® upgrades with significantly improved interactive activities and graphics.
    • MARCH: Launched a public website.
    • JUNE: Signed our first client school for Sentinel City®
  • 2017

    • MAY: Launched Sentinel City® 3.0, complete with assessments, a functional admin environment for activity reporting, and payment portal.
    • JUNE: Received APEX award for Electronic Media.
    • JULY: Named CODiE Award Finalist for both Best Emerging Education Technology Solution and Best Virtual Learning Solution.
    • AUGUST: Launched Sentinel Town®, the rural version of the Community Health Simulation.
    • OCTOBER: Added 24/7 technical support. Accepted WOW award for Sentinel City® from WCET.
  • 2018

    • FEBRUARY: Re-launched Faculty Portal with improved reporting and resources.
    • APRIL: Launched our first virtual clinical, Prioritization of Care® – Hospital, complete with autoscoring, gamification, and activity reporting.
    • MAY: Awarded second consecutive APEX Award for Electronic Media in addition to being named a CODiEAward Finalist for Sentinel City® combined with Sentinel Town®.
    • JULY: Launched our second virtual clinical scenario, Patient Management and Delegation®.
    • OCTOBER: In response to customer need, launched Prioritization of Care® – Clinic.
  • 2019

    • AUGUST: Awarded third consecutive APEX Award for Electronic Media.
    • NOVEMBER: Sentinel Health® is announced as a platform to host assignments; launches its first location in the virtual health system, Sentinel Hospital®.
    • DECEMBER: Launched Nursing Quality Indicators™, our 5th virtual clinical.
  • 2020

    • FEBRUARY: Began developing new virtual clinical series – Telehealth and Interprofessional Teams, for schools, hospitals, and healthcare organizations.
    • MAY: EdTech Award finalist for our virtual clinicals- Games for Learning/Simulation Solution, Professional Development Learning Solution, 21st-century Skills Solution. Launched Ask Florence, an app featuring Florence Nightingale.
    • JULY: Healthcare Learning Innovations rebrands to Sentinel U.

Americans With Disabilities and Social Justice


American Sentinel is committed to making Sentinel U products and services an equal experience for all people, including those with disabilities by meeting or exceeding the requirements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 Level A/AA (WCAG 2.1 A/AA). 

We continually monitor our site and applications to ensure accessibility to all. The Bureau of Internet Accessibility, an accessibility consulting company, conducted a full accessibility audit using Subject Matter Experts that provided specific recommendations to ensure conformance.. 

It is important to note that accessibility efforts are ongoing to implement relevant improvements and guidelines over time. 

Social Justice

We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We will constantly strive for the continued improvement in social justice, health, well-being and education of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, national origin, veteran status, social economic class, religion, or profession.

We believe that social justice is best achieved through a continuous process of review; and, the adoption of programs and practices that eliminate bias or oppression, either intentionally or unintentionally.

We believe in transparently reporting on our social justice actions to all stakeholders.

We will advocate for social justice, improved health and education for all.

Please contact us directly at 1-800-749-2427 or Solutions@SentinelU.com for specific questions.

Industry Recognized