If there is no registered nurse to take charge of the next shift you remain bound by your NMC Code to act in the best interests of your patients or clients. However, if you have already worked a full shift, you may feel unsafe to continue working, especially if this means covering a night shift.
If you are working in a care home, please contact the registered manager who has 24 hour responsibility for the home. You should explain the situation and request that cover be arranged, even if this means that the registered manager (who is a registered nurse) has to cover the shift themselves.
If you are working within the NHS, or for a large private organisation, there should be a local policy and a documented escalation process available to you.
If the above issue is a recurring problem, please contact us. We may be able to support you to raise your concerns.