I agree, this is back to front. Typically you'd have a link like:
and mod_rewrite would match that, and internally redirect it to:
You probably could make your rule to do it the other way around, but I don't see much point if you are trying to tidy things up and make them clearer, as you are actually munging things and making them less clear.
It's also worth mentioning that if the search engine is already listing:
in its index, then I'd say the URL was pretty much 'search engine friendly' already :-)