Members of the INMO have voted in favour of strike action by 95% over staff recruitment and retention.
The executive will meet next month to decide when to go on strike.
This would be only the second time in the INMO’s hundred-year history that its members have taken national strike action.
Nurses and midwives last engaged in strike action two decades ago in 1999.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “Ireland’s nurses and midwives are speaking with one clear voice.
"This vote reflects a deep frustration in our professions, which the government cannot continue to ignore.
“Ireland’s current haphazard approach to nurse staffing is costly and bad for patient care, as confirmed by the Minister for Health’s own nursing taskforce.”
INMO President Martina Harkin-Kelly said: “I don’t know a single nurse or midwife who wants to strike. We just want to get on with the job we love, but staff shortages have made that impossible. We’ve reached a breaking point.
💪✊🏽💪 The nurses and midwives have spoken! 95% vote FOR strike.
The INMO's elected Executive Council will meet on January 7th and 8th to set dates for 24-hour strike.
United we stand! pic.twitter.com/li9NYQh3Ml— Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (@INMO_IRL) December 18, 2018
“Nurses and midwives are united. We’re standing up for safe staffing, fair pay, and for our patients, who deserve better care.
“It’s time for Government to listen to frontline voices and fix this problem once and for all."