The chief executive of Nursing Homes Ireland has warned they may have to close beds, because they cannot recruit registered nurses.
At present, 2,200 nurses are awaiting registration by the Irish nursing board.
The process is currently taking a year or more to complete and the backlog means nursing homes here cannot hire enough staff.
Tadgh Daly from Nursing Homes Ireland said the delays were growing even after the Government appointed more staff to the registration board.
Mr Daly said: "The Department of Health, to be fair, and the Minister at the time provided extra staff to the board to alleviate this particluar backlog, but we've seen no appreciable difference, in fact the situation has got much, much worse.
"So we are now calling on the Minister to intervene immediately and to be able to address this crisis as a priority, otherwise what we'll have is nursing homes closing beds."