model conditions to only apply for new rows

I have a use case where I’d like a model to create a new row if one doesn’t exist, but load an existing row if it does exist. So far so good.
I need to have certain conditions applied only when the row is created (but not be part of the query)… conditions like Date__c = ‘TODAY’ and Nurse__c = (userinfo)(Name).

What’s the best way to handle that?

Not quite sure I understand what you mean by conditions.  Do you mean default those specific fields to the values you specified in the question?

Yes. Which is what conditions do during row creation.

Looks like a model action triggered by new row creation with a bunch of update field on row actions will do the trick.

Is there an easier/better way?

Or snippet.  Snippet has the advantage that you can leverage logic, otherwise, stick with the AF.  Anyone else care to weigh in?

This is what I’d suggest.