You can keep the water out of your nose by blowing bubbles out of your nose. It eliminates the reliance of another piece of equipment. I can't remember then last time I didn't have at least a bit on awareness that I was losing the battle so that I could begin this. Now it's reflexive, like closing my eyes to keep the contact in place and fine sand or other debris out.
With some practice paddling your boat full of water will also become easier. This is a valuable skill, especially if you like to paddle in rock gardens or in the surge (I know I do). More often than not, rescues in this environment don't lend themselves to emptying out the boat immediately, you have to get out of the danger zone before completing that process.