The Psychiatric Nurses Association is to vote on proposals for industrial action over staffing shortages in the profession.
Delegates at the association’s annual conference in Co Cavan voted to put a proposal for a ballot on industrial action to a special executive council meeting next month.
The union says up to 1,000 new nurses are needed to fill 600 current vacancies and to replace retiring staff across the mental health services.
General secretary Des Kavanagh said the association could not trust the HSE to guarantee a proper nursing workforce was in place. Nurses had no faith that the strategies being pursued by the HSE to recruit and train nurses would meet the “chronic shortages” faced in the coming years, he said.