Health Minister Dr James Reilly is to outline his plans to nurses at a meeting later today.
Minister Reilly will address the conference of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation for the first time since taking office.
The INMO claims that patients lives are at risk because of cutbacks and bed closures.
Minister Reilly has disputed their claims, saying that the number of nurses employed must be reduced to satisfy the terms of the EU/IMF bailout deal.
"There have actually been an additional 360-380 nurses appointed in the last year, so it's not all one-way traffic," said Minister Reilly.
"The moratorium must stay in place because we have to get out numbers down, the IMF have made that very clear.
"It’s either a drop in the number of public servants or it's a cut in pay - we're trying to protect frontline pay in particular, and frontline staff."