In late 2009, Nana debuted as one of the third generation members of the South Korean girl group After School. She also became part of the group’s sub-units called Orange Caramel and A.S. Red. In 2010, they won the K-Pop New Artist of the Year 2009 at the Billboard Japan Music Awards. Also in 2010, they took home the Best Newcomer Award at the Seoul Music Awards. In 2011, they released their debut and only Korean studio album called Virgin, which featured 13 songs.

Nana topped TC Candler’s list of 100 Most Beautiful Faces for two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015. She debuted as an actress in the 2015 Chinese series Love Weaves Through a Millennium, which is a remake of the South Korean drama Queen In-hyun’s Man. In 2016, she became part of the tvN series The Good Wife, which won her the Best Rookie Award at the inaugural Asia Artist Awards. Her work in the series also earned her a Best New Actress for TV nomination at the 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2018, she was nominated for Best New Actress for Film at the 54th Baeksang Arts Awards for the crime action movie The Swindlers. In 2019 and 2020, she took home Excellence Award trophies at the KBS Drama Awards for the television dramas Justice and Memorials, respectively.

Nana attended the Seoul Institute of the Arts.