Nara debuted with the South Korean girl group Hello Venus in 2012 with the mini album Venus. That same year, they were nominated for Best New Female Artist and Artist of the Year at the Mnet Asian Music Awards. In 2013, they were named Rookie of the Year at the 2nd Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards. Some of their notable songs are Sticky Sticky, Wiggle Wiggle, and I’m Ill. They officially disbanded in 2019.

Nara had cameo appearances in various television dramas and web series before landing her first major role in SBS’ Suspicious Partner, which earned her a Best New Actress nomination at the 2017 SBS Drama Awards. In 2019, she was nominated for Best New Actress for TV at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards for her work in the tvN drama My Ajusshi. Also in 2019, she received two Best New Actress trophies for Doctor Prisoner. In 2020, she became part of JTBC’s Itaewon Class, which won the Best Drama Series at the 25th Asian Television Awards. Her work in the series also scored her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards.

Nara legally changed her name to Kwon Ah-yoon due to a car accident.