Rhea Nelson, CO

  • Rhea Nelson

I’m often asked how I got into the very specialized field of orthoptics. My response is complex but authentic. My journey here started during the most vulnerable period of my life when, as a Marine serving my second tour in Iraq, my back was injured. Throughout my surgery and recovery, my nurses were so empathic, capable, and kind that they inspired me to want to give back in a similar spirit. My injury precluded my becoming an RN, but it opened my eyes (pun intended) to the incredibly rewarding job of helping children with their vision. During my training, I learned that my mother’s amblyopia was diagnosed late in childhood, resulting in extremely poor vision in one eye. That drove home for me the importance of diagnosing and treating these kinds of eye disorders early, while they often can be fully resolved. I have always adored working with children, but I appreciate it even more since becoming a mother in 2019. I have a great read on kids and their families, making the examination process a lot easier for all. Children are very responsive to patience, kindness, and clear communication. Parents appreciate those things, too!


Work and Education

Professional Education

BS in Orthoptics, Saint Catherine University, Saint Paul, MN, 2014

Board Certifications

Board Certification in Orthoptics by the American Orthoptic Council, 2015