The INMO is calling for an extra 1,000 beds to be opened to alleviate the hospitals overcrowding crisis.
The measure would require additional funding for the health service of at least €500m this year.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is holding its annual conference in Co Meath.
General Secretary Liam Doran says the extra money will be needed to keep the system afloat:
"To steady the ship this year we have got to have, in my view, conservatively at least another €500-600m to allow us to open some closed beds," he said.
"We still have 2,000 beds closed - this conference is going to call for 1,000 of those beds to be opened, both acute and continuing care
"You have to staff those beds - so conservatively, we have to talk about €500m."