I took the long way also, although my RN program offered a bridge program for LPN's. Of course, I had to complete all my pre-reqs and then entered into the 3rd semester of my program. It only took me 2 full semesters to finish. Looking back at it, it really was quick. However, looking at starting, it seemed like it would take me forever to finish.
I considered many options before enrolling in a traditional program. I really felt like I needed the structure of a classroom environment, with deadlines and other students to interact with. I also wanted the opportunity to be in the clinical arena and learn from other people who had been nursing a while.
Prior to entering the program, I really though it would be nothing more than paying dues. Afterall, I had been an LPN for >10 years. However, once I was in the program and realized all the material and information that had to be learned, I realized that I was not just paying my dues to become an RN! It was almost like I was learning to be a nurse all over again. As an RN, your scope is very different than an LPN as well as your level of accountability and your level of overall responsibility. Oh yea, that little thing called critical thinking .... well, that plays a huge role in my life now as an RN. As an LPN, I was aware of it, but generally completed my work with little regard to it.
Good luck with your schooling and congratulations on making a decision to become an RN. I still love signing RN after my name and it has been several years since I graduated.