October 6, 2022

Business Florida 2022 - The Regions

North Central

Alachua • Bradford • Columbia • Dixie • Gilchrist • Hamilton • Lafayette • Levy • Madison • Marion • Suwannee • Taylor • Union

| 11/8/2021


The jewel in North Central’s educational crown remains, as always, the University of Florida. One of three designated “Preeminent State Research Universities” by the Florida Board of Governors and No. 7 nationwide in 2020-21 for most Fulbright U.S. scholars, UF is both a catalyst for research and economic development and a superior source of distance learning. In its 2021 “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs” category, U.S. News & World Report awarded the No. 3 position to the University of Florida. UF Online also earned the No. 2 for “Best Online Bachelor’s Program for Veterans” and the No. 1 for “Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs.”

UF is a stand-out in traditional learning methods, too. In 2020, a survey by U.S. News & World Report put the University of Florida’s graduate schools among the state’s best in seven categories: Law (No. 21); Education (No. 23); Business (No. 26); Doctor of Nursing Practice (No. 36); Research Medicine (No. 36); Engineering (No. 45); and Primary Care Medicine (No. 51).

Other facilities serving this region’s higher educational needs include:

• Central College of Florida offering associates and bachelor’s degrees at its main campus in Ocala and at satellite campuses in Levy and Citrus counties.

• Florida Gateway College in Lake City, providing 60+ programs ranging from bachelor’s and associates degrees in the humanities, business, education and health sciences to single-semester occupational certificates that train students in high-demand occupations such as welding, fire fighting, commercial heating and air conditioning, cosmetology, practical nursing and phlebotomy.

• North Florida College with campuses in Madison and Live Oak offering a B.S. in nursing, Associate in Arts transfer degree, Associate in Science degree as well as certificate programs in more than 15 specialty occupations.

• Santa Fe College in Gainesville, known for its teaching zoo and offering nine bachelor’s degrees in addition to associate degrees and certificates in 13 broad areas of study.


Health Care

Out of the 5,000 total hospitals assessed in any given year, UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville was named No. 2 best in Florida, earning Top 50 rankings in six specialties: ear, nose & throat (No. 32); urology (No. 32); pulmonology & lung surgery (No. 37); geriatrics (No. 42); gynecology (No. 45); and cardiology and heart surgery (No. 50.). And what’s even more impressive, its sister facility — UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital — earned Top 50 rankings in eight pediatric specialties, including a No. 7 in cardiology and heart surgery; a No. 12 in diabetes & endocrinology; and a No. 21 in pulmonology & lung surgery.

Also making news:

• North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville opened its new Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in April 2021. Elevation from Level II to Level III — the second highest designation available for a NICU — deepens NFRMC’s ability to care for the smallest and sickest infants born in North Central Florida.


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