If you need to quickly use an ordinal variable as an input, I recommend using it as a factor. The order of the factor is important for the interpretation of the results, but it's rather simple to reorder to the factor (using the factor command). The way the results are reported is the first group in the factor is held constant as the intercept and the coefficients for the subsequent groups are the difference between your reference group (the first item in the factor) and the other group. For example, if you three races coded, White, Black, and Asian. Since R does things alphabetically by default, Asian will become your reference group if you use "+factor(race)" which means you won't see a coefficient for Asian, but you will see a coefficient for Black and for White. These coefficients will be for the Difference between White and Asian and the Difference between Black and Asian.
An easy way to think of this is each level in the factor is treated as a binary variable. Each variable is assigned a coefficient, but the input is binary, meaning if your observation is Asian, Asian=1, Black=0, White=0, so it doesn't matter what the coefficients are for Black or White if your observation is Asian because any coefficient multiplied by zero will still be zero. Thus they're all mutually exclusive.
This also works for ordinal things, such as high, medium and low income. Depending on what your independent variable is and how the data was collected this may be completely suitable for your needs. It is important to note that this does not work well for hierarchical variables. If your input(s) are hierarchical in nature, I highly recommend using a nested mixed random effects model (lme4 package).