Tides are changing at one of the states largest mental health ho - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Tides are changing at one of the states largest mental health hospitals

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At the Oxford Suites Thursday, Eastern State Hospital hosted its fourth job fair since January. At the Oxford Suites Thursday, Eastern State Hospital hosted its fourth job fair since January.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Five months ago, Eastern State Hospital had more than 100 vacant nurse positions, and there weren't a lot of eager candidates.

But that's quickly changed since the hospital started hosting job fairs around the Inland Northwest.

At the Oxford Suites Thursday, Eastern State Hospital hosted its fourth job fair since January.

One of the big questions KHQ Local News asked recruiters was if the escape of a pair of inmates from Western State Hospital a couple of months ago is having an impact on the search for more nurses. This was their answer:

"We've had no impact at all,” said Chief Nursing Officer, Chet Roshetko. “People will ask that question, but there's been no slow down in the hiring or the number of applicants."

And the numbers don't lie.

Since January, Eastern State Hospital says they have hired around 20 nurses a month. That's two to four times higher than previous months.

And now recruiters say they've reduced the number of positions from 130 to 39.

"So that's a significantly low number compared to anytime in recent history as far as numbers are concerned,” said Roshetko. “Not only because of expansion, but there’s always quite a few positions open."

The increase in staff comes several months after the facility added an additional 30 beds for patients.

At this point there's not another job fair planned, but we talked to an organizer who told us they do these every two months or so.

For more information about future job fairs, call (509) 565-4009

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