Doctor and patient discussing eye care

Your Future is Clear

At least it is when you have a clear picture of your journey to a successful optometry career. Scroll for the information you need to put the path to your future - in focus.

crowd of people with graduation hat

Your Timeline

Exploring the Journey from Student to Optometrist

This interactive timeline highlights what it's like to move from student to doctor, using the experience of practicing in the National Vision Doctor of Optometry network as a guide. Many of these milestones are universal. Some—like the relationship you'll build with an experienced Area Doctor—are perks unique to the network and created for your benefit.

By Year 4 of Optometry School

  • Attend events hosted by various groups (Including us!) to learn about your options
  • Schedule multiple office visits to evaluate modes of practice and find your fit

During Year 4

  • Sign an employment offer early so that you can focus solely on finishing your education knowing your future is secure
  • Start thinking about the items you’ll need to practice, including your National Provider Identifier (NPI), State License, Malpractice Insurance, managed care enrollment and more

Congrats, Grad! Before Day 1

  • Attend a virtual orientation

Months 1 - 3

  • Multi-day onboarding with your Area Doctor
  • Mentorship orientation
  • Area Doctor 6-week follow up
  • Continual check-ins from your Area Doctor

Months 4 - 6

  • Check-ins with your Area Doctor as needed
  • In-person New Graduate Workshop

Months 7 - 12

  • Annual Continuing Education Symposium and Year 1 Celebration

“I love the network that National Vision provides, bringing together new grads and established optometrists across the country for CE events. There are so many colleagues to help ensure you get the support you need!”

Whitney Wallace, OD, Illinois College of Optometry, Class of 2022

National Vision, Inc.

Honest Insights from Practicing Optometrists

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Inside Look: Working as an Optometrist at America’s Best

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Testimonials: A Message to My Optometry School Self

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Inside Look: The Patient Experience at America’s Best

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Spotlight: Dr. Whitney Wallace, Illinois College of Optometry Grad

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Testimonials: Why Practice Primary Care Optometry

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Spotlight: Dr. Jonathan Elin-Calcador, NECO Grad

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Testimonials: What Surprised ODs About the Network

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Spotlight: Dr. Brodie Cates, SCO Grad

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Testimonials: Why Optometry Is a Fulfilling Profession

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Spotlight: Dr. Madison Lessard, NSU College of Optometry Grad

Green Circle

Homework You’ll Actually Want to Do

Download these resources to get more guidance on how to propel yourself toward a fulfilling optometry career.


Quick Guide to the Network


Why Practice Primary Care


Employed or Sublease?


“There is an abundance of help given at National Vision, making my transition as a new grad smooth. It was comforting knowing there is an Area OD, mentorship program, and colleagues to help. I never feel alone.”

Madison Lessard, OD

Nova Southeastern University's College of Optometry, Class of 2022

South Florida Regional Eye Associates

Meet Our Optometry Student Relations Team

If you haven’t seen your regional Optometry Student Relations Lead around campus yet, you probably will soon. Learn more about our dedicated support team for students looking to learn more about the National Vision Doctor of Optometry network.

Christy Sager, OD

Optometry Student Relations Lead (West)

Southern College of Optometry Grad

Christy has explored multiple modalities throughout her career, including overseeing a sublease practice and practicing as an associate in private and surgical settings. She found her home in the network in 2018, where she practices at San Francisco’s Bay Area Eye Care, Inc. Christy was an Area Doctor here for 2.5 years prior to her current role. She is passionate about helping people live rewarding lives—by providing clearer vision to patients and by helping students discover what fulfills them.

Joshua Rogers, OD, FAAO

Optometry Student Relations Lead (East)

Illinois College of Optometry Grad

Josh’s passion is to improve patients’ quality of life. He’s lived out this passion throughout his career in the network, which began as a new grad. Josh served as an Ambassador while practicing. He later went on to become a Regional Recruiting Director for National Vision before taking on his current role. Josh is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). He now fulfills his passion by connecting new ODs to a rewarding career where they provide life-enhancing care.

“I have helped patients who cannot afford eye care elsewhere and provided them with the vision they need to function in daily life. It is very rewarding to have someone emotionally thank you for helping them.”

Nathan Heyborne, OD

UIWRSO Class of 2020

Texas Vision Associates, P.A.

See Us at an Upcoming Event

April 30

MCO Capstone Career Fair

May 1

Virtual Career Dinner - All Fourth Years

May 14

UCB Meet Your Future Event

May 14

WUCO Professional Development Fair

May 17-18

ICO Capstone