Nancy Hollister attended Kent State University. After that she worked as a homemaker. Only in 1980 she entered the political arena. This year she was elected as a candidate of the Republican Party in the city council of Marietta. There they remained until 1984. From 1984 to 1991, she was the first woman mayor of that city. Then it belonged to the senior staff of Governor George Voinovich, who was nominated in 1994 for its candidate for the office of Deputy Governor. Thus, they officiated in Voinovichs second term as his deputy.
Following the resignation Voinovichs on 31 December 1998 it had to end its remaining until January 11, 1999 term of office. So she was the first woman who exercised the office of governor of Ohio, even if only for twelve days. Due to the brevity of their tenure, they could put no political accents. Already on 11 January 1999, she handed the office to the newly elected Governor Bob Taft. Between 2001 and 2005, Hollister was a Member of the House of Representatives from Ohio. She is married to Jeff Hollister, with whom she has five children.