A majority of senior housing and skilled nursing operators are relying on staffing agencies or temporary workers to meet their workforce needs in recent weeks, a new survey revealed. 

More than two-thirds of executives for senior housing and skilled nursing operators reported that they’re using the outside resources to fill vacancies, the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) found. 

The findings were from NIC’s Wave 15 executive survey. Responses came from 64 operator executives and were collected from Oct. 26 to Nov. 8.

“Although down slightly from Wave 14 (Oct. 12-25), most respondents are continuing to pay staff overtime hours, putting ongoing strain on [net operating income],” NIC senior principal Lana Peck explained in a blog post Thursday that detailed the survey results. 

The figure is up from mid-April when 36% of executives reported using a hiring agency or temporary staff to deal with workforce shortages.

Workforce struggles have been a key issue for providers all over, with many saying the issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic. A top official at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in late October pledged that turnover among certified nursing assistants at long-term care facilities will remain a key focus for the agency in the months and years to come.