I am a self employed private duty RN and work 12 hour (7a-7p) shifts with a C1 quad who is vent. dependent requiring 24 hour RN care. Recently the night nurse did not show up for her shift. I tried contacting the other nurses on the case for relief to no avail (there are only 6 total as per the patient, she does not want an agency involved) and had to work the entire 24 hours which was virtually impossible for me as I desperately need my sleep but obviously could not leave the pt unattended. I am upset that I was put in this situation and feel the conditions were dangerous to both the patient and myself as making a stupid mistake due to exhaustion could have put my license on the line. What would you have done? What are the legal ramifications?