LEAP Certificate Pathway

Nurse anesthetist in scrubs monitoring a patient.

What is the Leadership Excel and Achievement Program (LEAP)?

LEAP is a program designed to optimize the Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) workforce by engaging a wider student pool. LEAP is ideal for students who have been previously rejected from an accredited CRNA doctoral program.

The Nurse Anesthesia DNP program at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University is working with multiple affiliate institutions to offer this program.

Institutions participating in this program include: Case Western Reserve University, Columbia University, Emory University, the Medical University of South Carolina, Rosalind Franklin University, Rush University,  University of Cincinnati, University of Arizona, and University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Learn more about how this new Case Western Reserve University program helps to bring more diversity to specialized nursing in this story on News 5 Cleveland.

Program overview

This one-year certificate program concentrates on science, understanding the professional role and scholarship. Upon successful completion of this one-year certificate program, graduates will be matched with one of the participating doctoral-level CRNA programs at one of the affiliate institutions. Successful completion means LEAP admitted students need to earn an 80% or better in the required courses and participate in required activities.
LEAP students must agree to attend the affiliate program that admits them following their successful completion of the certificate program. The affiliate CRNA programs may require relocation to attend. Students may indicate their preference of the affiliate program to attend, however, final decisions are made by the institutions.

Tuition for the three semester program is by credit hour. The program is 16 credits. Tuition may be supplemented by scholarships and program sponsors. Travel expenses are additional.


The LEAP program is offered remotely. During the last semester of the program, activities will take place on one of the affiliate program’s campuses that students are required to complete successfully.

The curriculum focuses on three targeted areas to increase student aptitude and competitiveness: science, scholarship and testing, and mentorship and professional socialization.

Summer Semester

  • Study skills and test-taking strategies
  • Writing Workshop I
  • Introduction to CRNA Specialty I
  • Chemistry and Physics (module)
  • Professional Role of a CRNA

Fall Semester

  • Physiology 
  • Writing Workshop II
  • Introduction to CRNA Specialty II
  • Clinical (observation)

Spring Semester

  • Pathophysiology 
  • Writing Workshop III
  • Introduction to CRNA Specialty III
  • Clinical (observation)

Additional activities

  • Attendance at professional CRNA organization meetings: AANA Midyear Conference 
  • Study groups
  • One-on-one mentoring sessions
  • Simulation on campus at one of the affiliate schools (last semester)


Applicants to the LEAP Certificate Program must meet the following criteria:

  • Previous denial from an accredited CRNA program
  • Meet minimum 2.7 GPA for both nursing and science;
  • Submit and complete the online application by the deadline, December 6

To Apply

Completed applications for the LEAP Certificate are due Dec. 6 for summer enrollment.

When you create an account and select the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing application. From the menu on the left hand side, when you get to the Program Details page, once you select you are not applying for a dual degree, you will see the Program prompt. Select the Leadership Excel and Achievement Program Certificate.

  • Three recommenders (names and email addresses). We recommend RNs in supervisory positions at your current place of employment, professional colleagues who have earned advanced nursing degrees, and nursing instructors. The preference is for nurses who know your clinical work, one being a nurse manager.
  • Essay. Respond in essay form to this question: Why do you need this type of program at this juncture in your life, and describe the barriers that prevented you from achieving your goals?
  • Resume or CV. Include employment history, military service, academic and professional fellowships, memberships and publications.
  • Transcripts. Applicants can submit unofficial transcripts for application review. If applicants are offered admission and accept, applicants must submit official transcripts to the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Official transcripts are those sent directly from the college/university to admissionsfpb@case.edu or mailed directly to: Applications Coordinator at FPB, 9501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7343.