Mediation between the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) and district health boards (DHBs) has failed, as the parties could not agree on a revised settlement offer.
The NZNO bargaining team did not agree to a settlement offered by DHB MECA, bringing negotiations to an end just before 7pm on Monday evening.
Both parties have asked the Employment Relations Authority to step in to undertake urgent facilitation and make a recommendation on the settlement, in attempts to resolve the deadlock.
Nurses are preparing to strike on July 5 and July 12 if a deal is not reached, with preparations in place to allow life preserving services to continue.
The strike is likely to see 27,000 nurses stop work. If it goes ahead, it will be the first nurses' strike in nearly 30 years.
DHB spokesperson Helen Mason says people should not avoid calling 111 or visiting a hospital with urgent matters, should the strike go ahead.
For non-urgent matters, people are encouraged to visit their GP, local pharmacy or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.
DHBs will contact affected patients to inform them about how strike action will affect them if it goes ahead.