Talks aimed at averting nationwide strike action by nurses have been adjourned at the Workplace Relations Commission and will resume tomorrow.

The discussions, between nurses unions' and HSE management, are over a dispute which centres on pay and staffing shortages.

A spokesman for the Pyschiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said the talks are ongoing, but that the union is continuing to prepare for industrial action.

The spokesperson said that the union's Executive Committee is meeting tomorrow morning to make preparations.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has scheduled six 24-hour strikes by its 37,000 members on 30 January, as well as the 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14 February.

The 6,000 members of the PNA will refuse to do overtime on 31 January and the 1, 5, 6 and 7 February - escalating to strike action in tandem with the INMO on 12, 13 and 14 February.

The nurses argue that only an across the board pay rise of 12% - bringing them into line with other graduate health professionals - will incentivise nurses to join and stay in the profession.

However, the Government argues that the €300m claim is unaffordable and would trigger knock-on claims across the public sector.

Both the INMO and the PNA have rejected proposals from the Public Service Pay Commission for a €20m package of improved allowances and faster promotions, arguing that the proposals did not go far enough.