Nolan was born in Rakaia where she lived until age eight, and then moved to nearby Barrhill for the next two years. She is of Irish descent.
Nolan graduated from Toi Whakaari Drama School in 2005 with a Bachelor in Performing Arts (Acting).
She appeared in The Hothouse as Isobel Jones, a role that earned her a nomination for Best Actress at the 2007 NZ Qantas Television Awards. Nolan had a recurring role in Go Girls as Angelina Caulfield. She has starred in the feature film Kissy Kissy (NZ International Film Festival 2007), with an international debut in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009); Nolan also had a supporting role in the Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
In 2017, Nolan joined the cast of Home and Away as Scarlett Snow. She made her first appearance on 8 May 2017. She departed the show at the conclusion of her character's storyline.