"I didn’t care about the financial loss; I simply could not handle one more shift."
Thousands members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) had planned to walk out on Tuesday.
Wes Streeting admitted it's "uncomfortable" to discuss their own inflated pay.
The shadow health secretary said they put patient safety at risk.
The result is a major blow for Rishi Sunak.
Hopes rise of potential breakthrough in long-running dispute.
"We are in a crisis right now, people are on strike, government needs to get round the table, Victor Adebowale told BBC Question Time.
“I would never criticise nurses for something like that," the levelling up secretary said.
The pair clashed as it was announced inflation is at 10.5%.
The Royal College of Nursing says 73 NHS trusts will be affected in an escalation of previous industrial action.