Hartpury lecturer Catherine Phillips has joined a group of elite veterinary nurses after becoming the first equine veterinary nurse to be awarded an RCVS Honorary Associateship.
Catherine, who has helped shape the veterinary nursing provision at Hartpury during her 13 years with the college, was honoured by the Royal College of Veterinary Nurses at their Royal College Day in July.
She becomes one of only a handful of veterinary nurses, and the first equine veterinary nurse, to hold the distinguished accolade. Less than 100 people, including veterinarians, have been honoured in total.
She said: “It’s an honour to have been recognised by the RCVS for the work I’ve done throughout my career; it’s honestly something I was never expecting. I’ve been lucky enough to work in some great places and with some amazing people, none so more than during my time at Hartpury and at Three Counties Equine Hospital. I just hope I can continue to keep progressing veterinary nursing as a profession.”
A RCVS spokesperson said: “Despite the demands of her current role, Catherine continues to go above and beyond what is required of her. She understands the significance of developing veterinary nursing education and its importance, not only for her students at Hartpury College but for the veterinary industry as a whole.
“The dedication Catherine has shown throughout her career in improving equine veterinary nursing practice through advances in curriculum design, assessment and supporting national standardisation of good practice, is unparalleled. She is truly a credit to the veterinary nursing profession.”
Catherine, a Bristol University trained veterinary nurse, began her career after completing her qualification in 1994. She worked for a mixed practice in Herefordshire before becoming Head Equine Veterinary Nurse at Three Counties Equine Hospital in Gloucestershire where she was one of the first to gain the RCVS Equine Veterinary Nursing qualification.
Since joining Hartpury in 2002, Catherine has helped to develop the college’s equine veterinary nursing courses as well as overseeing all veterinary nursing qualifications in her role as Head of Department.
As well as her work at Hartpury College, Catherine is a Principal Examiner for the equine veterinary nursing practical examinations. She is also an active member of the RCVS Examinations sub-committee and an advisory panel member for The Veterinary Nurse, a peer-reviewed international journal.