San Francisco, CA (NursingSalary.org)- In 2006, Anne Tomlinson and her husband were searching around for homes in Hawaii. They were both in the medical field, so you probably would figure that they could buy a really nice house and still be really well off. Anne Tomlinson is a pediatrician and her husband, David, is an anesthesiologist. However, to the surprise of many, most of the places on the mainland were much more expensive than $100,000, which were their starting salaries. They could have the choice of taking out a loan because they could pay it off fairly easily with those kinds of salaries, but for this family, a less expensive house was more in the cards. Not everyone wants a big, expensive house.
The costs of doing business and living on the mainland were significantly higher. Anne Tomlinson said in a recent article, “If you’re going to move to an area where the cost of living is really high then the salaries need to compensate for that so that your overall quality of life is the same.” I would definitely have to agree with this statement. How can you expect people to live in a place so expensive when the average wages are so low? It would be nearly impossible to expect people to be able to figure out how to make ends meet when owning a house much more expensive than what their average nursing salary is. Keep in mind, a lot of the people that would be living on the mainland would not even be a doctor or nurse, and would not make even close to the $100,000 that the family featured in this story was.
Projections that are up to date show that the state may be short 1,230 doctors and 2,669 registered nurses to care for the estimated 280,496 baby boomers who will be 65 or older in the next decade. This is all according to the Hawaii State Center for Nursing and the Hawaii/Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, who also say that the physician shortage will grow over 2,000 by 2030. This is a huge amount, and you would think that they would have to figure out a way to fix this problem. In order to do that, they will need to either raise wages of the nurses and doctors on the main island or lower the average housing costs.