The Madras High Court on Wednesday asked the nurses, whose strike entered its third day, to resume work.
In its interim order on a Public Interest Litigation, the court directed them to resume duty on Thursday.
Nurses from different parts of Tamil Nadu have been on strike demanding better wages than the Rs 7, 500 per month they get paid now and absorption as permanent staff in government hospitals.
Thousands of nurses, in their white uniform, assembled on the grounds inside the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services complex here, protesting they are employed as contract workers and paid a consolidated sum irrespective of the hours of work they put in.
Earlier in the day, police did not allow the media to enter the complex to speak to the striking nurses, but relented after several hours of protest by the media.
The authorities also tried to thwart the strike by locking up the toilets in the complex but the nurses continued with their protest.
"The nurses are forced to adopt this form of protests thanks to the long - neglected demands of theirs regarding wages, job regularisation and other demands, " DMK Working President M. K. Stalin said in a statement.
"Among the occupations within medical domain, nursing is the one which demands highest degree of patience. "
Stalin said the state government is so callous forcing the nurses to agitate.