Psychiatric hospital has difficulty hiring nurses


By Morgan True

BERLIN — The new Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital hasn’t been able hire enough nurses and mental health workers to fill the 25-bed inpatient facility, according to state officials.

A “best case scenario” provided to lawmakers during the last legislative session anticipated the hospital would fill its beds by Aug. 15. In late May, the hospital’s CEO, Jeff Rothenberg, said it had hired 150 of 183 workers it would need to be fully staffed.

Rothenberg said Friday that the hospital is still 26 people short of that mark. Sixteen of the open positions are for nurses, the other 10 are direct care workers.

“If you talk with any hospitals, hiring nurses is a challenge,” he said.

The state psychiatric hospital’s patients are the most complex and highly acute psychiatric cases in the state, and the hospital is ramping up occupancy in a “clinically sound” manner, Rothenberg said.