In an open letter to the public the NZNO are calling for people to enrol and vote for political parties committed to increasing health funding.
The letter was launched this week in Dunedin by NZNO President Grant Brookes and Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku at the first of a series of regional conventions being hosted by the New Zealand Nurses Organisation to focus on the "effects of inadequate healthcare" funding.
The open letter asks voters to make health funding their first voting priority as "without an increase to health funding we are all in serious trouble."
"Right now it's getting harder to do the work that we trained for," says the letter. And goes on to add: "We are often short staffed, rushed, and need a little more time to give you care...Many of you are feeling frustrated by delays in getting the healthcare you deserve and expect. We are frustrated too."
In the lead-up to this week's Southern convention Brookes said it was "a matter of peeling back the layers of the health system to see how inadequate funding in primary health, Iwi and Māori providers and DHBs has a negative ripple effect at the hospitals where people are queuing up for help".
Nuku added that many nurses were on part time agreements but doing more and more hours. "This really is not a sustainable way to look after the work force.
"Nurses in Iwi and Māori providers are also doing more and more hours and the same work as those within hospitals but lagging behind in their pay compared to their counterpart in hospitals."
Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman told the New Zealand Herald that delivering better health services remained the Government's number one funding priority, and the Government's investment in health would reach a record $16.1 billion in 2016/17.