The health service is finding it difficult to hold on to nursing staff due to issues over pay and burnout, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
The INMO says the problems are leading to a high turnover of nurses across the HSE.
Their General Secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha, said: "As quickly as we are recruiting, people are leaving. They are leaving for a variety of reasons, the main one being pay, and they are experiencing very difficult conditions of employment.
"Their staffing levels are so low, that leads to burnout.
"All of the international research and research carried out in Ireland illustrate that"
Ms Ni Sheaghdha believes expanding the job of nurses would attract more people to the profession.
She said: "Other jurisdictions have a much more advanced role for nurses in advanced practice, specialisms, particularly managing chronic disease.
"And we need to start moving very quickly in all of these areas."