Nurses and management at Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital are a step closer to resolving their dispute over a shortage in operating theatre staff.

The two parties held a roundtable discussion this afternoon.

Nurses earlier this week threatened to stop work in one of the hospital's theatres after accusing Hunter New England Health of failing to fill seven theatre nurse positions and relying on excessive overtime to meet mandated staff ratios.

The New South Wales Nurses Association's Linda Griffiths says management has given a commitment to filling the positions by the end of the month.

She says management has also agreed to adhere to staff ratios.

"We've got a commitment from them that they are going to ensure that their theatres are staffed according to the ACORN (Australian College of Operating Room Nurses) ratio standards and that if they're not, they will take every step to reduce the services," she said.

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