The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is to meet today to discuss its plans for a series of 24-hour strikes.
95% of nurses and midwives voted for industrial action last month in a row over staff shortages and pay.
If a national strike goes ahead, it would see INMO members providing only lifesaving and emergency care.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said a pay rise for nurses would be "unaffordable and unsustainable".
Professor in Employment Law at Maynooth University, Michael Doherty, says it is difficult to see how the strikes can be avoided.
"I think there is a lot of frustration amongst the nursing staff which is quite clear for all of us to see," said Prof Doherty.
"It's difficult to see how with that mandate an out and out strike can be avoided at this stage, unless the Government come up with something really creative."